What I did and saw:
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery-
The Birmingham Musuem and Art Gallery has a lot to offer and is free to enter (although a donation is suggested). The musuem contains displays and artifacts from Birmingham, the United Kingdom, and from all over the world. I could have easily spent a day (or more) there.
Library of Birmingham-
The Library of Birmingham has a very extensive collections of books, but it is a nice place to visit even if you aren’t interested in checking out a book. There is a “secret garden” that gives nice views of Birmingham. There is also a small Shakespeare musuem on the top floor.
The Peace Gardens memorialize all those that have died in armed conflict around the world. The leaders of the G8 summit each planted trees in the garden. It is a very nice place to walk around, and it is free to enter.
Where I ate and drank:
Wayland’s yard is an excellent breakfast spot. They have a nice variety of good, healthy options. They also serve excellent coffee and even have a sampler with coffee made four different ways.
Jekyll and Hyde-
Jekyll and Hyde is a gin bar with a cool, eclectic Alice in Wonderland themed back patio. In addition to gin they also offer beers and a wide variety of other cocktails.
The Wolf has an excellent craft beer selection in a chill space (the one I had there was the best one I’ve had in Birmingham). They serve a small food menu and have board games available for use.
Shogun Cube is a nice Asian restaurant in the beautiful Canal Wharf area. In addition to some standard restaurant offerings, they also have hibachi tables and an all-you-can-eat rotating sushi bar.
Quarter Horse Coffee Roasters-
Quarter Horse is an excellent coffee spot in Birmingham. They offer a few good food options as well as some other drink options, but coffee is their specialty and they do it well. Quarter Horse is where I had my best cup of coffee in Brum. They also had a few books on coffee I was able to browse through while I was there.
The Victoria is a very cool spot that had a nice laid back vibe when I was there. They offer a variety of well made, well priced cocktails as well as a variety of quality craft beers.
Bacchus is a very cool bar and restaurant set in an old bank vault. There are various sculptures and frescos around the place as well as bookshelves and a fireplace in the dining area. They offer a full food menu, cocktails, and some craft beers.
Urban Emporium Jewelry Quarter-
Urban Emporium is a great place to get breakfast. They offer very good coffee and a nice variety of breakfast options.
Where I stayed and how I got around:
I stayed with friends in the Birmingham area. I was just a tram ride away from Birmingham, and I walked to get around once I was downtown.
My favorite thing:
There were some good food and drink options in the city, but my favorite thing was the fact that the museums (and massive and beautiful public library) are free to enter.
My least favorite thing:
There was a significant amount of construction going on while I was there, but that could prove beneficial in the future. Also, while the weather was good during my time there, it is often cold and rainy in the area.
For next time:
Next time in Birmingham I would like to try more of the food and drink there, including some Indian food. It also might be interesting to visit the Back to Backs, The Old Crown, and the Custard Factory.
My name is Billy. I am a personal trainer and teacher. I love traveling, and wanted to share some of my experiences. I hope to inspire you to see, taste, and experience more of the world. Feel free to take some of my recommendations for your own travels. I also blog about health and fitness at CustomizeMyWorkout.com/blog